NVIDIA nForce 790i SLI Ultra and GeForce 9800 GX2 - HotHardware

NVIDIA nForce 790i SLI Ultra and GeForce 9800 GX2

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Below we have a high-level overview of the nForce 790i SLI Ultra chipset's high level architecture and main features.  As the illustration shows, the 790i SLI Ultra (and non-Ultra version of the chipset) is a two chip solution consisting of the nForce 790i Ultra SLI SPP in the traditional Northbridge position and the 790i SLI Ultra MCP in the Southbridge position.


NVIDIA nForce 790i SLI Ultra Chipset Diagram


The chipset has full support for all Intel desktop processors with front side bus speeds as high as 1600MHz.  The DDR3 memory controller in the SPP is compatible with EPP 2.0 and officially capable of speeds up to 2000MHz, although higher speeds are possible with overclocking.  32 of the chipset's PCI Express lanes reside in the SPP, with the remainder coming by way of the MCP.  And the two chips are linked via HyperTransport.  We should note that the SPP's lanes are gen 2, while the rest are gen 1.  What NVIDIA has done here is essentially bring the NF200 chip present on the 780i SLI and 750i SLI chipsets and brought it right onto the SPP.

Although the nForce 790i Ultra SLI MCP has a new name here in the block diagram, it is still the NF570 chip used on motherboards dating back to the introduction of the nForce 500 series.  It would be nice if NVIDIA revamped this chip and produced it on a more advanced process node to bring power consumption down, but from a feature standpoint it's still as robust as any other solution currently on the market.

 
NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI Chipset Diagram


The nForce 750i SLI's feature set is similar to its high-end counterpart in some respects.  Both chipsets support all current Intel processors and both are linked via HyperTransport.  The nForce 750i SLI, however, utilizes a third chip - the NF200 - for its PCI Express 2.0 connectivity and the chipset has fewer PCI Express lanes overall.  The nForce 750i SLI's MCP is also pared down a bit with fewer USB and SATA ports, and only a single Gigabit Ethernet controller.

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Awesome. I guess that kinda settles it for me, then. My next system will indeed use nvidia gpus.

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Yep, just saw the review a few minutes ago, very nice. I want one. :)

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Want one? :) what about two? hehe

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 twos good

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I'm impressed.  The top of the line single slot performance has arrived.  And unlike the 3870X2 which sometimes fell behind 8800GTS-512 or 8800GTX performance, the 9800GX2 is top of the line virtually everytime.  For those with SLI motherboards already, going two 8800GTS-512 might be cheaper, but for Quad-Sli boards or people with only 1 slot, this is the way to go.  If you wanna spend $600, that is.  I wonder how it will perform against the 'real' single GPU 9700/9800/9900 or whatever cards that have yet to launch.

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780 chipset updated with ddr3 support..Yea, go 790I!...no..=P...lol

Nvidia chipsets have always been buggy on the intel side. The fact that these boards are going to be expensive...Nvidia is just going to be laughing there way to the bank with this. Nvidia may make fantastic cards...But their intel chipsets are far from complete..

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I so want that Asus MB but $469. The new features with this chipset are amazing though. I'll wait and see some results from the first batch of users to see if they're are many bugs.

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600 mhz for the core clock seems a bit slow for a 512 mb card that is supposed to blow my mind (even though there are two gpus in one container)... i wonder what the overclocking capabilities of this card are... if it can be pushed to really get some juice pumped out... from the reviews i've been reading, it seems like the gx2 is simply 2 x 8800 gts g92 chips slammed together... benchmarks show 2 x 8800 gts 512mb cards > 9800 gx2!?!? its cheaper to buy two 8800 gts cards and sli em at this point =\

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willardcw4:

its cheaper to buy two 8800 gts cards and sli em at this point =\

True.  But do remember that this is a single slot card.  If you already have a motherboard you are happy with and it's single slot, then this is the best upgrade available.  Although I suspect that anyone who is willing to spend $599 on a card probably has an SLI or X-Fire motherboard, you never know.  Plus you can get Quad-Sli with only two cards here.  It's only for a limitted market I think.  How many people have 8800GTX's or Ultra's?  High end cards don't sell that well anyway.  They just have a big profit per card sold.

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I do agree that having the 9800 gx2 as a single slot card is rather advantageous for quad sli, or for getting that much performance in one slot... but then I'd like to see a benchmark of quad 9800 vs tri-8800 gts in sli :)

 I just don't like something being sold for $599 + shipping that can be outperformed by a "older" architecture (which obviously isn't the case) for a cheaper price... However, I do have a feeling prices will drop fairly quick... ClubIT.com is already selling PNY 9800GX2s for $540 + shipping :)

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